After recovering from the train-wreck that was Marry Him If You Dare, I quickly stumbled upon Taiwanese drama, In a Good Way. Its been quite a while since I’ve watched a really good Taiwanese drama. The last one was probably Black and White if my memory serves me correctly. I’ve just finished watching the 3 episodes currently aired and I think I’ve found my little hidden gem. Although I shouldn’t get my hopes up too high because later on I could become very disappointed, as it has happened many occasions in all my years of drama watching. *coughsmarryhimifyoudarecoughs*
Moving along, In a Good Way is about 2 childhood friends Jia En (Kristen Ren) and Ren Wei (Jay Shi) from Pingtung. In 1995, Jia En followed Ren Wei to Cheng Dong University in Taipei, even though she was not accepted into the school. Working part time and re-studying for university entrance exams, Jia En just wants to be close Ren Wei. She also happens to meet Liu Chuan (Lego Li) who also attends the same university, he ends up influencing her life much more than expected. You can say there are similarities to Korea’s Reply 1997 and 1994 because they focus on a particular nostalgic time period, but it is definitely different in terms of execution and overall vibe that is laid-back and endearing.
Its funny how the characters Liu Chuan and Ren Wei are like opposites of each other. Liu Chuan is the almost-too-perfect guy; handsome, smart, athletic, caring, compassionate and all around sweet guy (Where can I snag one of these??). Ren Wei on the other hand cares too much about his pride and status, it feels like he always has something to prove to the world. Exactly the kind of guy I don’t like. Also, he doesn’t seem to care about Jia En as much as she cares about him. This just makes it much easier for me to ship Liu Chuan and Jia En, which frankly is quite fine by me. I really like Jia En and Liu Chuan’s budding friendship (and *ahem* growing attraction) because he’s been a positive influence on her. Jia En is a countryside girl who lacks confidence, independence and ambitions in life. However, after meeting Liu Chuan, he teaches her to live for herself and to not care what others think. She grew up with Ren Wei, so her life always revolved around him. She discovers later that Ren Wei don’t always got a girl’s back, despite being long time childhood friends. It’s a bit of a harsh reality check, but it forces her to re-evaluate herself and learn to grow with Liu Chuan’s help. The interactions between all our characters have been interwoven nicely in the drama, as they all learn from each other. It has a lot nice slice-of-life moments which is a nice touch because it reminds us of some important life lessons, yet it doesn’t come off as being preachy.
Lego Li is definitely the star of the show! I’ve never seen him in any other dramas, actually I can also say that about the rest of the main cast. Lego reminds me a bit of Jimmy Lin but with this really intense smexy gaze. I didn’t find him all that handsome at first, but over time he just has this charisma that draws you to him. Ugh, the only downside to this drama is that it only airs ONCE a week, how will I live?? Its alright, because I actually have a line-up of other upcoming dramas to watch during the week, now that Marry Him If You Dare is over and Heirs will also be ending very soon. I’ll probably be writing about those in the near future I’m sure, if they pique my interest to watch. *Sigh* anxiously waiting for the next episode to air already…
Meanwhile, here’s some promo photos with the cast!
Check out the opening theme song here